Women Embracing Faith

Thinking Through the Bible

Devotional For Mothers January 16, 2009

Children want our attention. Have you noticed? Just pick up the phone and see what they can get into! My grandchildren love it when I have no other agenda than to play with them–at their level. It’s great not to have that electricity in the air which occurs when a pre-schooler is competing for attention. Just let Daddy walk in the door and desire a conversation with you…you can feel that tension. It goes much better if everyone focuses on welcoming him home and if he has no agenda himself for a half hour. That’s not so easy when everyone arrives home together. But, wise decisions show their correctness later on.

Don’t ask for a blueprint. Take biblical principles and work these daily things out for yourself. Talking about them help you “work it out.”

Identify the foundational principles that apply to the circumstances.They frequently seem to conflict.

Children are self-centered, immature, and are affected like all of us by the sinfulness of human nature.

Children must be trained, corrected… helped to grow…sometimes disciplined.

We are all to love God and each other.

Honor your father and your mother.

What other biblical principles do you think apply here?

Think about how these principles impact what you do.
If I had my grandchildren every day, my non-agenda approach would be impossible. If I over-focused on their natural self-centeredness, I might think it wrong to play so much with them. If I only thought about training and correcting, then playing would seem like a waste of time. If I forgot they need correction and discipline, what kind of grandparent would I be? If I played only fun things with no reference to God or just a quick prayer….oops. Out of balance again.

Enjoy your freedom to do things the way you think is best.

Just remember to keep a clear conscience, serve the LORD with gladness, and pray that God will bless your thinking it out for yourself.

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ISAIAH 1-24 REVIEW December 30, 2008

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Reading through the Bible systematically could be one of the most rewarding new year’s resolutions you make.  It has certainly been helpful to me.  For one thing, it confirmed for me the reformed Doctrines of Grace.  They really became “true for me” as well as “true” as I saw them every where I read.  My advice:  find a system and try to adapt it to what you’re living through right now.  Don’t make it a RULE, but try to be disciplined.  For more than ten years, I used M’Cheyne’s Calendar  from

 

Reassuring Your Heart: Part 3 April 23, 2008

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A Conversation…

“I believe in a Day of Judgment. I want to pass whatever the “test” is and get into heaven. I’ve heard it said if I just turn away from my sins, believe that Jesus is the One and say a simple prayer about it and then try to be “good,” everything will turn out okay. But, sometimes I get worried about it and don’t know what to do. I usually just get busy with something and it passes over. Then, later, that worried feeling comes back.”

“Of course you’ll make it! We’ve been in church together for years. You have always worried too much! If you’re not going to pass the test, then no one else will either!! No one said you had to be perfect. We’re doing the best we can.”

A friend’s light response like this doesn’t help much; it really just makes us more hesitant to speak up about spiritual things next time. What would be a better way to respond?

Helping A Friend

“Wow, that can really be tough. I remember feeling like that myself. I just determined to try harder, to be such a good person I’d be sure of “getting in.” That didn’t last very long. I fell flat on my face!! It turned out that Romans 8 helped me a lot. I learned that this assurance thing is so very individual and personal. It really rests upon our having the Holy Spirit active in our life. That is what gives us hope that we will ‘make it’.”

“You mean like speaking in tongues or seeing into the future or something? Then I’m in big trouble!”

“Oh no. Let me jot down three biblical principles for you to think about as you read Romans 8. I think they will help you see how we can know we have the Holy Spirit.

1. God’s promises about Christ are made real and alive to me resulting in my believing and having faith that Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection has saved me from being condemned on Judgment Day.

2. I can see the effect of the Holy Spirit on my heart because I see myself as God’s child, knowing he loves me and watches over me.

3. I’m not what I used to be! My character and conduct is changing as I love God and others more. It’s the result of the Spirit on my spirit and showing itself in how I live and relate. Yet, I rely on Jesus’ life being perfect instead of mine.

Study Romans 8 and see if it doesn’t help you understand these principles. All three need to be true of you at least a little bit. You can’t just rely on #3 by itself without the other two. You’d become a legalist if you do that. If you can see just a little bit of each three in yourself, then you can have some hope. Call or email me if you have any questions.”

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word (2 Thessalonians 3:1).